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Cricket MetroPCS CDMA shutdown

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I see Cricket's CDMA network is being shut down tomorrow. Is Sprint going to acquire any towers from this? Some of them have to be redundant with AT&T's network. 

 

Also did Sprint get anything from the MetroPCS CDMA shutdown? It seems like AT&T and Verizon are gobbling up everything.

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While I am not an expert on Cricket's site placement, they probably co located with everybody else rather than have their own towers. Same with MetroPCS. Sprint had the chance to acquire merge with either or both. They elected not to.

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While I am not an expert on Cricket's site placement, they probably co located with everybody else rather than have their own towers. Same with MetroPCS. Sprint had the chance to acquire merge with either or both. They elected not to.

 

I think a MetroPCS merger would have been great for Sprint since they had some nice markets of PCS spectrum that would have worked out for them.  However Tmobile obtaining MetroPCS works out better since they can use both the AWS and PCS spectrum holdings.  If Sprint had MetroPCS, they would have to do something with the AWS spectrum and I would have hoped that they would use it to trade AWS spectrum for more PCS spectrum.

 

It sucks that AT&T gobbled up Cricket since I would have much preferred Sprint and Tmobile to each merge with 1 of the smaller carriers to add to their depth. 

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Didnt matter much anyways, they would not of helped Sprint THAT much.

They did help out T-Mobile a lot though. It would have stymied T-Mobile in a lot of ways. What actually happened was sort of an LTE shotgun wedding with DT and Metro forming TMUS. Then the old MetroPCS network got shotgunned and TMUS built out new Nokia and Ericsson gear over it. The rest is history.

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They did help out T-Mobile a lot though. It would have stymied T-Mobile in a lot of ways. What actually happened was sort of an LTE shotgun wedding with DT and Metro forming TMUS. Then the old MetroPCS network got shotgunned and TMUS built out new Nokia and Ericsson gear over it. The rest is history.

I am referring to just Cricket, sorry, lol

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I am referring to just Cricket, sorry, lol

My bad, I did think that explanation was good for T-Mobile/MetroPCS though.

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My bad, I did think that explanation was good for T-Mobile/MetroPCS though.

lol, do you agree with me that if Sprint got Cricket, it would not of helped all that much? The metroPCS yes would of helped but Cricket was so small it was barely a carrier in my opinion.

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lol, do you agree with me that if Sprint got Cricket, it would not of helped all that much? The metroPCS yes would of helped but Cricket was so small it was barely a carrier in my opinion.

Cricket was more dysfunctional. Not sure it would have done as much. Mostly, when AT&T got Cricket, it was really rebranded Aio becoming Cricket. Pour some liquor out for the Cricket CDMA network that got shut down in CA marking the end of Cricket CDMA....just kidding, don't actually waste good liquor on that.

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Cricket was more dysfunctional. Not sure it would have done as much. Mostly, when AT&T got Cricket, it was really rebranded Aio becoming Cricket. Pour some liquor out for the Cricket CDMA network that got shut down in CA marking the end of Cricket CDMA....just kidding, don't actually waste good liquor on that.

Both of Cricket and Metro would have helped. It would have brought more customers, would have shored up Sprint's PCS spectrum and would have given them AWS spectrum to trade for more PCS. Or if they did not get out of the JV with the cable cos they could have implemented LTE on 20x20 channels.

The Sprint board has sucked for at least 15 years. No strategic thinking whatsoever.

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Both of Cricket and Metro would have helped. It would have brought more customers, would have shored up Sprint's PCS spectrum and would have given them AWS spectrum to trade for more PCS. Or if they did not get out of the JV with the cable cos they could have implemented LTE on 20x20 channels.

The Sprint board has sucked for at least 15 years. No strategic thinking whatsoever.

 

Ah, I see today we are playing revisionist historian again.  A few thoughts...

 

Sprint's SpectrumCo joint venture with the cable companies produced AWS-1 auction winnings of at least 20 MHz (10 MHz FDD) contiguous across nearly all Sprint major markets -- notable exceptions included St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Buffalo.  You can see the spectrum mapping that I did nine years ago following FCC Auction 66:

 

iejegy.png

 

That is not adequate spectrum to run band 4 LTE at 20 MHz FDD, only 10 MHz FDD.  Houston could do 15 MHz FDD.  But from 2006, that would have been way off in the future anyway.  And while your argument adds in AWS-1 spectrum from Cricket and/or MetroPCS in some markets, that spectrum not necessarily would have been contiguous with SpectrumCo's primarily AWS-1 B block license holdings.

 

Had the SpectrumCo joint venture survived, because LTE commercial availability was still years off, Sprint might have used the spectrum to start a switch over to 3GPP -- like Bell and Telus in Canada -- with a band 4 W-CDMA overlay.  In a comment board peanut gallery somewhere, Fabian Cortez is creaming his shorts at that thought.

 

One problem with that, however, is Cox was partitioned spectrum in its own cable markets, then attempted a triple play offering by deploying a band class 15 CDMA2000 network in several of those markets.  Cox's second entry into wireless was short lived, unsuccessful rather quickly.  So, maybe that spectrum could have been rolled back into SpectrumCo, but that would not have occurred until 2011-2012 -- by which point Network Vision was already underway.  The only real possibility would have been if Sprint, SpectrumCo, and Cox all would have agreed earlier to a 3GPP transition for Sprint and band 4 W-CDMA rollout for all.

 

In the end, with the perspective of time, the dissolution of the SpectrumCo joint venture may seem like a mistake.  However, Sprint had too many irons in the fire as it were -- running CDMA2000, iDEN, and WiMAX networks across PCS 1900 MHz, SMR 800 MHz, and BRS/EBS 2600 MHz spectrum bands -- with Public Safety 800 MHz rebanding and PCS G block boutique replacement spectrum adding to the complexity.  Imagine if Sprint also had been tasked with a band 4 W-CDMA overlay or a band class 15 CDMA2000 deployment.  That would have been the fuster to end all clucks.

 

AJ

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Ah, I see today we are playing revisionist historian again.  A few thoughts...

 

Sprint's SpectrumCo joint venture with the cable companies produced AWS-1 auction winnings of at least 20 MHz (10 MHz FDD) contiguous across nearly all Sprint major markets -- notable exceptions included St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Buffalo.  You can see the spectrum mapping that I did nine years ago following FCC Auction 66:

 

iejegy.png

 

That is not adequate spectrum to run band 4 LTE at 20 MHz FDD, only 10 MHz FDD.  Houston could do 15 MHz FDD.  But from 2006, that would have been way off in the future anyway.  And while your argument adds in AWS-1 spectrum from Cricket and/or MetroPCS in some markets, that spectrum not necessarily would have been contiguous with SpectrumCo's primarily AWS-1 B block license holdings.

 

Had the SpectrumCo joint venture survived, because LTE commercial availability was still years off, Sprint might have used the spectrum to start a switch over to 3GPP -- like Bell and Telus in Canada -- with a band 4 W-CDMA overlay.  In a comment board peanut gallery somewhere, Fabian Cortez is creaming his shorts at that thought.

 

One problem with that, however, is Cox was partitioned spectrum in its own cable markets, then attempted a triple play offering by deploying a band class 15 CDMA2000 network in several of those markets.  Cox's second entry into wireless was short lived, unsuccessful rather quickly.  So, maybe that spectrum could have been rolled back into SpectrumCo, but that would not have occurred until 2011-2012 -- by which point Network Vision was already underway.  The only real possibility would have been if Sprint, SpectrumCo, and Cox all would have agreed earlier to a 3GPP transition for Sprint and band 4 W-CDMA rollout for all.

 

In the end, with the perspective of time, the dissolution of the SpectrumCo joint venture may seem like a mistake.  However, Sprint had too many irons in the fire as it were -- running CDMA2000, iDEN, and WiMAX networks across PCS 1900 MHz, SMR 800 MHz, and BRS/EBS 2600 MHz spectrum bands -- with Public Safety 800 MHz rebanding and PCS G block boutique replacement spectrum adding to the complexity.  Imagine if Sprint also had been tasked with a band 4 W-CDMA overlay or a band class 15 CDMA2000 deployment.  That would have been the fuster to end all clucks.

 

AJ

You're right about WCDMA first on AWS-1. Heck they could have implemented WCDMA TDD on their 2.5GHZ spectrum.

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Why wouldn't Cricket been good?  ATT grabbed them up for $1.2 billion.  Maybe that is expensive?  But Sprint would have been able to add a second PCS LTE carrier in many markets.  What, I count at least 40 major markets.  Maybe a fourth they could have done two carriers.  

 

The H-Block went for 1.56 billion and is nationwide, but incompatible with everything.  So Cricket spectrum would be a bit of a premium + the customers, and I'm sure a lot of the tower locations would help with cell density.  Seems like that would have been a pretty fast conversion for Sprint to make getting that spectrum shifted around and merging ~5 million customers into Sprint. 

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Cricket had virtually zero unique coverage.  Sprint would have had use of probably less than 5% of their locations.  If that.  Everywhere I lived that had Cricket, they were colocated on Sprint sites almost every time, or an adjacent site.  Except in most cases they had thinner coverage.  The only time I roamed on Cricket in New Mexico is if Sprint went offline for some reason.

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Cricket had virtually zero unique coverage. Sprint would have had use of probably less than 5% of their locations. If that. Everywhere I lived that had Cricket, they were colocated on Sprint sites almost every time, or an adjacent site. Except in most cases they had thinner coverage. The only time I roamed on Cricket in New Mexico is if Sprint went offline for some reason.

I found their network superior to Sprint's in both Austin and Houston.

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I found their network superior to Sprint's in both Austin and Houston.

In Houston, that definitely was not the case. Sprint pre-NV and cricket both had congested EVDO networks that had a bunch of sites crawling along with dual up speeds. As far as voice, they were both respectable, but not great.

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